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Abrie Beeslaar to step down from Kanonkop

Published:  16 January, 2024

Abrie Beeslaar, three-time IWSC International Winemaker of the Year, will leave the iconic Cape estate Kanonkop, in August this year.

As a result, 2024 will mark his 23rd and final harvest at Kanonkop, with whom Pinotage, Bordeaux-style blends and Cabernet Sauvignon have become his signature.

Beeslaar, who joined the leading Stellenbosch property in 2002, will stand down later this year to concentrate on his own brand Beeslaar Wines. However, he will continue to work with Kanonkop as a part-time consultant.

At Beeslaar Wines he is poised to continue his Pinotage love affair originating from a single-vineyard site in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Described as a “small family-run business”, Beeslaar Wines was founded in 2011 from a unique parcel of land in the Simonsberg region outside Stellenbosch.

In 2018, Beeslaar, who joined Kanonkop as winemaker before the age of 30, was the first South African winemaker to see one of his wines – the Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2015 – receive a perfect 100-point score from Master of Wine and Harpers’ columnist, Tim Atkin.

Kanonkop will be left in capable hands, led by Francois van Zyl, previously of Laibach (now Ladybird Wines, acquired by Kanonkop in 2022), Christelle van Niekerk, and Ruan van Schalkwyk, who will eventually be joined by co-owner, Paul Krige's daughter, Suzaan Krige.

Along with Beeslaar, longtime sales and marketing manager Deidre Taylor will also be leaving the estate after 11 years.